European Parliament calls for arms embargo against Saudi Arabia

By agency reporter
December 2, 2017

Members of the European Parliament have voted overhwelmingly to reaffirm its call for a European-wide embargo against Saudi Arabia, and a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. The Parliament originally voted to support an arms embargo on 25 February, 2016.

The vote is not legally binding, but it sends a strong message to member states that have continued to arm Saudi Arabia despite the humanitarian crisis that has been inflicted on Yemen.

Despite the humanitarian crisis, the UK government has continued to arm and support the Saudi regime. Since the ongoing bombardment began in 2015, the UK has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including:

  • £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (aircraft, helicopters, drones)
  • £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
  • £572,000 worth of ML6 licences (armoured vehicles, tanks)

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "The European Parliament has sent a clear, strong and unambiguous message to governments like the UK, that have been utterly complicit in the destruction of Yemen.

European arms have played a central role in the bombardment. The situation has become even worse over recent months with the devastating blockade of Yemeni ports, and the worst cholera outbreak on record.

Despite the pain and the destruction, the arms sales have only continued. It's time for Theresa May and the other leaders to take action and end their support for the Saudi regime and the terrible bombardment that has been inflicted on Yemen."

A recent poll by Opinium LLP found that 68 per cent of adults in the UK oppose arms sales to Saudi Arabia (with 12 per cent supporting)

* Campaign Against Arms Trade https://www.caat.org.uk/

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